Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Country Bites News snippets April 14 - April 20, 2014

Country Bites News snippets April 14 – April 20, 2014



Listen back to Ags Connolly's Country Outlaws: Oxfordshire singer/songwriter Ags Connolly salutes his country heroes - BBC Radio Oxford Page
"Nashville today is has become ridiculously over the top now, you've got acts that are completely unrecognisable from any sort of Pop music, it's exactly the same as Pop music even though it markets itself as country. There are some acts who are desperate to get away from that and stand alone and say I'm doing my own thing, I'm not part of that crowd" said Ags

Lisa Redford joined Bob Harris (OBE) in a "Under The Apple Tree" chat and performed two bonus songs, 'Another Place And Time' and a special cover of Ryan Adams' 'Where The Stars Go Blue' . >> Watch it here YouTube are presenting an “In The Round” with US artist James House plus #C2C2014 London pop-up artists Gary Quinn and The Shires plus Luke Thomas & Melanie Greggain
It will take place at The Troubadour in London on 21st July 2014 - See Event Detail

Due to huge demand Striking Matches have confirmed a second date at The Borderline, London Tues, 24 June 2014, visit for details.

** UDATED ** * UK Tour Page  
The ABC of British Country Music Live listings for Artists, Bands & Clubs

Ward Thomas, twin sisters Catherine and Lizzy Ward-Thomas remained on the “B” BBC Radio 2 Playlist for a fourth week commencing April 19, 2014 with their new single “The Good And The Right” (>> Official Video) taken from their "Footnotes" EP which was released on iTunes & Amazon on April 6, 2014. The EP currently resides at No.22 and the single “The Good and the Right” (Radio Edit) at No.94 on the respective UK iTunes Top 1500 charts. The EP is ranked #218 on Amazon UK all genre MP3 Albums.

SUPPORT UK Country Music

"Ward Thomas and The Good and the Right" - Alex Lester (April 14) BBC Playlist Page
"That's Ward Thomas from Hampshire" - Janice Long (April 15) BBC Playlist Page
"It's 8:41 here's Ward Thomas, Oh I love a hoe-down, Ward Thomas The Good and the Right and apparently they're girls and twins, they sound amazing" - Zoe Ball (April 15) BBC Playlist Page
"The Good and the Right, Ward Thomas, sounds like an old actor from the 40's" - Steve Wright (April 15) BBC Playlist Page
"Ward Thomas, The Good and the Right" - Vanessa Feltz (April 16) BBC Playlist Page
"This is Ward Thomas and The Good And The Right" - Alex Lester (April 17) BBC Playlist Page
"Here's Ward Thomas on Radio 2"..."Thoroughly enjoying Ward Thomas" - Zoe Ball (April 17) BBC Playlist Page
Playing "Footnotes (Happy Ending)"-  "Country music from Hampshire...great to know that there's home grown talent pumping this great music at us" - Bob Harris (April 17) BBC Playlist Page


Official UK Top 100 Album Chart (Week Ending April 26, 2014)
Johnny Cash with OUT AMONG THE STARS (Columbia) falls 6-9 with sales of  7,292 copies (Last week’s sales were 10,374 sales; 3-week total 37,013) in its third week at retail.
Emmylou Harris with the re-release of WRECKING BALL (Nonesuch) debuts at No.100 (sales less than 980; these days less than 2000 copies can net you a Top 40 UK album.) Shunned at the time by mainstream country radio and industry this has been a classic since its release in 1995. This expands it into a three-disc collection: the re-mastered original album, a bonus disc of previously unreleased bonus tracks from Harris.

Official UK Country Album Chart (Week Ending April 26, 2014)
Johnny Cash with OUT AMONG THE STARS (Columbia) stays at No.1 for a third week
Emmylou Harris with the re-mastered expanded update of WRECKING BALL jumped up 11 places 13-2
Rodney Crowell with TARPAPER SKY (New West) debuts at No.3 and Marc Ford’s HOLY GHOST lands at No.4
Martina McBride with EVERLASTING (Vinyl Recordings) falls 2-6 in her second week.
Derek Ryan with THE ENTERTAINER LIVE (Sharpe Music) blew in at No.15

On the Hotdisc Chart (April 20, 2014 Chart)  
Jamie O'Neal (making her debut on Hotdisc) moved 2-1 with her cover of the Juice Newton hit "The Sweetest Thing" to top the Hotdisc Top 40.
Ray Scott with his witty "Gotta Quit Drinkin'" climbed 4-2 with Billy Yates hot on its heels with his self penned “As I Kiss My World Goodbye” which made a 5-3 stride.
Last weeks No.1 Bertie Higgins’ "Just Another Day In Paradise" fell 1-4.

The Hayley Oliver Band with “Bright Side Of Life” climbed 6-5 to hold onto the No1 on the British and Irish Hotdisc chart listings for a second week.
Former 2-week chart topper M Callahan with “Chicken On A Chain” slipped by 3-6.
Jeff Griffith with “She’s All I Ever Drink About” stayed at No.7, D K Davis with “Waitin’ On The Weekend” edged up 9-8.
British artist Gary Curtis entered the Top tier with “Crazy Love” as it jumped 11-9.
Advancing up the Top 40 chart and rounding out the Top 10 was Ireland’s Philomena Begley & Ray Lynam’s duet “The Fire Of Two Old Flames” (12-10)
Also moving north on the top 40 were David Starr with “Underneath The Clear Blue Skies” (15-11), Markus Fox (16-12) with “I’m Still Coming Home” (written by Mike Lane and Joe Lickteig), Canada’s Domino with “All We Need Tonight” (18-14) , Moore & Moore with “Show Me Your Country” (co-written with Randal Reed) climbed six rungs 23-17 and fellow US act Joe Allen with “Can’t Take These Things” (written by Brian P Banks) also entered the top 20 with a 24-19 leap.


(22 April 2014) Rachele Lynae - Rachele Lynae (Momentum Label Group)
12 Tracks/ Time: 41:45 MP3 - UK iTunes - Smart Choice Music - 

(28 April 2014) David Pack - Napa Crossroads (Concord)
CD - MP3 'Napa Crossroads' is the brainchild of Grammy award winning, multi-instrumentalist David Pack. It was David's passion for wine that led to this collaboration with five prestigious Napa Valley wineries - Far Niente, Silver Oak, Gargiulo Vinyards, Pride Mountain Vineyards and Casa Piena. Each winery collaborated musically or lyrically on two tracks, with David and guest musicians bringing the total to 14 original compositions - Press Release

(22 April 2014) Keb' Mo' - Bluesamericana (Kind of Blue Music)
10 Tracks/ Time: 38:05 CD - MP3 - Smart Choice Music

  • Christie Lamb's "All She Wrote" stays at No1 on the National Country Tracks Top 30 for a second week. Former No.1 Doug Bruce with "Clock Out At Five" holds at #2 and Sara Storer's "Come On Rain" moves 4-3.
  • Codie Prevost received awards for "Entertainer of the Year" and "Male Vocalist of the Year" giving him both titles for six years running and was also honoured with the 2014 Saskatchewan Country Music Association Achievement Award.
  • One More Girl has a new single "Drunk Heart" at country radio - eblast
  • Snapshot Country Aircheck's Insider Artist News - April 18, 2014 - April 22, 2014
  • Glen Campbell has been moved into a care facility, according to PEOPLE Country. The singer, who has been living with Alzheimer’s for three years, was relocated to the facility just last week.
  • Rachel Potter the Nashville based country artist/ actress/ X Factor USA 2013 contestant has partnered with PledgeMusic to make a new album, “Not So Black and White.
  • NY Times: Losing A Few Hay Bales, Country Music Goes Mainstream: Cumulus announced the debut of the NASH Campus, the nation’s first multimedia facility devoted solely to producing and distributing content based on the Country music lifestyle, including radio programming, TV/videos, magazines and events. The NASH campus includes
    three studios designed for a combination of TV and radio programming, indoor and outdoor event space, a print newsroom and extensive office space. Read More/ Photos at  
Taylor Swift was the first artist to visit the new Nash campus in Nashville. She joined America’s Morning Show hosts Chuck Wicks, Terri Clark, and Blair Garner. Cumulus wants Nash to encompass not only radio but also television, print and online media, and even licensed merchandise like kitchenware and cars. At the Nash headquarters in downtown Nashville, normally drab radio studios have been remade to look like warmly lit television production sets, with high-definition cameras capturing video in preparation for a time when the shows will also be transmitted in multiple formats online. Country Weekly magazine will be re-branded Nash as part of Cumulus Media’s expansion of its country-themed radio brand following a deal with Country Weekly’s publisher, American Media Inc.

  • The Academy of Country Music’s ambitious 50th-anniversary awards celebration is already looking like a major blowout. The April 19, 2015 awards ceremony at the Dallas Cowboys’ home, AT&T Stadium, and the April 17-18 Party for a Cause at the Texas Rangers’ field, Globe Life Park, sold out in a scant 18 minutes. And that’s without announcing talent —returning co-hosts Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan are the only names thus far affiliated with the dates.
  • The morning of April 22nd in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Rotunda, the CMA announced the 2014 Hall of Fame inductees. The late, great songwriter Hank Cochran, who died in 2010, will be posthumously inducted in the Songwriter category. Mac Wiseman will be inducted in the Veteran Era category, and Ronnie Milsap in the Modern Era category
Kacey Musgraves with
Katy Perry  CLICK to ENLAGE
  • First lady Michelle Obama and Kellie Pickler will guest star on the May 7 episode of ABC's Nashville as lead character, Rayna Jaymes, organizes a military benefit concert at Fort Campbell. The military-themed event comes after Rayna finds out her current love interest, country star Luke Wheeler, has been injured while in Afghanistan. Nashville's second season finale airs in America May 14.
  • Kacey Musgraves joined Katy Perry for a taping of CMT Crossroads in Los Angeles on April 18. The pair taped the 50th episode of the critically acclaimed series. Among the songs included in the taping are Perry’s “Roar” “Firework,” and “Teenage Dream.” “I’d say she’s the queen of following your arrow,” Musgraves said of Perry before performing her own Country hit, “Follow Your Arrow.”
  • Easton Corbin, Charles Esten, Sam Palladio, Jonathan Jackson, Chris Carmack, The Henningsens, Tracy Lawrence, and more were due to perform at GRAND OLE OPRY Tues April 22nd. See calendar for future events.
  • George Strait, the reigning Entertainer of the Year for both the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association, is nearing the end of his Cowboy Rides Away Tour that began its final leg in January. The country legend earns his fourth No.1 this year on Billboard’s weekly ranking of Hot Tours with $6.4 million in ticket sales from four of the final six arenas on his performance schedule. Sold out performances in Wichita, Denver, Portland and Tacoma, WA, drew more than 70,000 fans to see the veteran entertainer’s touring sendoff. The overall gross from Cowboy Rides Away now tops $72 million from 40 sold out shows since launching in January of 2013


Baby A on the Way! Lady Antebellum's Dave Haywood, 31, and his wife, Kelli Cashiola, announced via Twitter that they are expecting a baby boy. The couple got married at the Front Porch Farms in Ashland City, Tenn., on April 14, 2012, after announcing their engagement in December 2011, according to People magazine.
Lady Antebellum tweeted @ladyantebellum So excited for a new Baby A on the way in Sept! And it's a boy!!! - Dave & Kelli

Ever since Kelly Clarkson announced she was expecting, glimpses of her baby bump have been rare.  But this past weekend, she was out and about with her pregnant belly definitely on display. US Weekly has photos of Kelly on a boating outing with her husband Brandon Blackstock and his family, including his stepmother, country superstar Reba McEntire. She was wearing black leggings, flip-flops and a long salmon-colored tunic with a black and white bow printed on the belly. Later, she wore a white top which showed off her belly even more.

The Kickstarter for Neil Young's high-end audio device Pono ended bringing in $6,225,354, making it the third-most-funded project in the Kickstarter's history (the others were the Pebble Watch and the Ouya gaming console). The campaign raised 7.7 times more than its original goal of $800,000, with 18,220 people contributing. 15 people donated at the highest level of $5,000, winning a dinner and listening party with Neil Young in Chicago.

Eighty-four percent of all online content consumed in Spain is pirated, according to a study of 2013 Internet trends commissioned by a coalition of music, movie, publishing and videogame companies. The April 9 report, which concluded that more that half of all Internet users in Spain download content illegally, is the latest fuel in the fiery debate over intellectual property legislation in the piracy-plagued country...n 2012, digital music amounted to 34% of total sales in Spain. Although Spotify, Google Play and other services showed initial promise as an alternative to piracy in the Spanish market, digital sales in
Spain grew only 9% compared to the 22% European average, according to last year’s IFPI figures.

Telegraph UK - Many people are buying CDs, vinyl records and cassettes rather than MP3 downloads, even though many albums in these obsolete formats are left in their wrapper and kept as collectors' items. Music fans still prefer to buy CDs, vinyl records and cassettes than MP3 downloads, even though many are left in their wrapper and never actually listened to. Online digital sales have cornered a large part of the music industry, with 22 per cent of people buying from Amazon in the last month and 11 per cent from Apple’s iTunes store. But CDs remain dominant, according to a poll, with 57 per cent of people having bought a physical album during the last year. That figure for MP3 downloads was just 39 per cent.And, strangely, vinyl records are now a growing part of the music industry, with one in ten having bought an LP over the last month, up from five per cent in
the same period last year. One in 20 people had even bought a cassette during that time. This phenomenon is largely being driven by 18 to 24-year-olds who did not grew up with the formats originally, with just over one quarter in that age group admitting to buying music to collect, but not play.


  • Eric Church (EMI Records Nashville) will release a double gatefold vinyl version of his album THE OUTSIDERS on Saturday, April 19, in recognition of National Record Store Day. The vinyl package will also include an exclusive album poster (Source Press Release
  • Radney Foster will release EVERYTHING I SHOULD HAVE SAID, his first album of all new material since 2009s Revival, on May 13 via his own Devil’s River Records and distributed by Think Indie. “I’m always trying to find a little piece of the truth,” says the Texas born and bred singer-songwriter. With Everything I Should Have Said, the truth is laid bare. His first collection of new songs in 5 years opens with “Whose Heart You Wreck,” a stormy lament to a fickle muse and closes with the title track, an unflinching apology for things done and left undone.
  • Cowboy Jack Clement, one of country music’s most eclectic and colorful figures, passed away in 2013 after completing what would be his final musical work. Now fans will have the chance to hear it. Cowboy Jack’s album FOR ONCE AND FOR ALL is set for release July 15 on the new Nashville label I.R.S. Records....Read More at Country Weekly
  • Jessica Clemmons the C2C2014 Pop Up stage artist and Radio 2 artist will release a new single “Love Like That” out May 5th - iTunes UK

  • Joey+Rory were raised on great traditional country songs and still love to sing them. So this May, they have a new album COUNTRY CLASSICS..A Tapestry of Our Musical Heritage coming out with their own versions of twelve classic country songs. Songs like “I’m Not Lisa”, “Rocky Top”, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” and many others. This new CD will be exclusively available in Cracker Barrel’s everywhere starting in May. You will also be able to purchase it through Joey+Rory's webstore. See more in the Spring 2014 E-Blast Update
  • Joanna Mosca, is putting the finishing touches on her upcoming not-yet-titled EP, which is being produced by Nashville's hottest production team, New Voice Entertainment. Mosca's new material digs deeper into country music with a definitive lyrical slant. "It was important that it include material strong women could relate to, as well as songs that reflect a sense of humor and fun," she says.
  • All My Friends: Celebrating The Songs & Voice Of Gregg Allman will be available in DVD/ Blue-ray / 2CD/ CDs and the DVD in a regular format on May 6, 2014: This DVD captures a once-in-a-lifetime performance, honoring one of the most acclaimed and beloved icons in rock and roll history. A founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, and successful solo artist in his own right, Allman possesses a voice that has resonated through four decades. Amongst the performances with Country/Americana interest are: Susan Tedeschi, Brantley Gilbert, John Hiatt, Trace Adkins, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Eric Church, Jackson Browne, Zac Brown, and The Allman Brothers Band with musical direction by Don Was.  Shot in high definition with 5:1 Dolby sound at the historic Fox Theatre in Atlanta, this remarkable piece pays tribute to a voice that once heard is never forgotten. From now until the release date, those that pre-order will receive the 32 page, 2014 Beacon Theatre program - sure to be a collector's item in the future. It’s available at hittinthenote and and in UK it drops on May 19 Amazon UK >> Watch the promo Video
  • Previously unreleased Music from Hank Williams surfaces in The Garden Spot Programs, 1950 Omnivore Recordings will soon release the full-length version of The Garden Spot Programs, 1950, featuring 24 performances, unheard for 64 years, from country music legend Hank Williams. Rescued from obscurity, these shows originally aired more than six decades ago; The Garden Spot Programs, 1950 collects material from the four episodes now known to exist. Due out May 20, 2014, the set follows the release of Omnivore’s collectible 10” vinyl Record Store Day EP sampler.
  • Dolly Parton and Sony Masterworks celebrate Record Store Day on Saturday, April 19, with the release of a limited 7-inch vinyl.  The blue vinyl features two tracks from Parton’s upcoming album Blue Smoke - “Blue Smoke” and “Home.”
  • Girls With Guitars: Katie Armiger, Jamie Lynn Spears and Jordan Anderson rock Ocala, Florida.
  • Bucky Covington is thrilled to release his first single as an independent artist, “Buzzin,” to country radio. “BUZZIN,” the lead single from Bucky’s current project expected out later this year, is the perfect summer-time theme song, written by Brad Hull and produced by Covington himself and Dale Oliver.
  • CMA Entertainer of the Year George Strait’s The Cowboy Rides Away Tour announced the addition of a tour stop on Thursday, June 5 at State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas.
  • Canadian neo-folk favorites The Duhks are back and set to release their long- awaited new studio album BEYOND THE BLUE on June 24. Sample tracks from Beyond the Blue on Soundcloud
CMA Close Up by Bob Doerschuk: Martina McBride Rides Her Soul Train

Billboard (Phyllis Stark): Click to ENLARGE

CMC Review: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, supported by Tift Merritt Factory Theatre, Marrickville, Sydney 13/04/14

New Single from Johnny Orr Band shines light on Autism...The cut appears on the band’s forthcoming EP Down South, and Orr says he’s planning on promoting the single and the cause in every possible arena he can.  
A Conversation with Jamie O’Neal at Country

Jerrod Niemann – “Donkey” (Lyrics) YES these are the actual Lyrics of Jerrod Niemann's new Single, "Donkey":
All the ladies like to ride, Oh the ladies like to ride, Oh the ladies like to ride, Oh the ladies like my D-O-N-K-E-Y
...Down to the Honky Tonky, Its gonna get funky funky (hee haw hee haw) x2 !!


Julianne Hough attended the Kaleidoscope Ball held at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Thursday (April 10) in Beverly Hills, California.
Keeping it one-note, the actress wore a Philosophy Fall 2014 cut-out dress with a wrap skirt, ensuring her noteworthy satin sandals got equal billing. She accessorized with a matching clutch with gold hardware (image) and a few rings whilst slick hair and makeup perfected her look - Fashion Pic - Getty Images

Taylor Swift left her apartment in New York City (April 16) wearing a Talbots Heart Intarsia Sweater ($59.99), a pair of Hudson Denim Pants ($98.00) in Deep Jade, a pair of Cole Haan Mackenzie Oxfords and carried her J.Mendel Midi Clutch ($1,650, Black) - Image

Miranda Lambert launched her own line of shoes and boots last December with her music and lifestyle serving as the main inspiration. Some of the high heels have a rock and roll edge, while the boots give a nod to Miranda's country roots.
She told Women's Wear Daily that running her boutique, The Pink Pistol, taught her some valuable lessons going into the shoe line launch.
Brett Eldredge and Jana Kramer are taking part in Macy's American Icons campaign, which means you'll see their faces in more than 800 Macy's stores starting next month. They'll be modeling clothes for I.N.C International Concepts in ads appearing in print and online, too

Kacey Musgraves is featured in Elle magazine's Women in Music 2014 issue seen wearing a Roberto Cavalli Knit Gown - Image

Kacey, who's made a name for herself by not skirting around issues in her music, says it saddens her that her material is considered controversial. She tells the mag, “It’s hard for me to swallow when someone says, ‘You’re a rebel, you’re an outlaw,’ because no, I’m not. The things I sing about are not controversial to me."

  • Dolly Parton has revealed Miley Cyrus wanted to "murder" her Hannah Montana persona in order to make people accept her as a more grown-up musician. The country icon admitted she was concerned when he goddaughter told her she was planning a dramatic reinvention to move away from being known as the Disney Channel character which made her famous. Speaking to The Sun newspaper, Dolly said: "As a little girl she was great, but then she started to grow up. And people didn't want her to grow up - they got mad at her. "Well, that's how everyone has been with Miley. One day she'd had enough and told me, 'I need to murder Hannah Montana in order for people to accept who I really am'. Meanwhile Miley Cyrus is upset about having to postpone two more dates of her 'Bangerz' tour in the US after suffering a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics.
  • Hayden Panettiere (aka Juliette Barnes in ABC TV drama Nashville) wants to be a "sexy and youthful" bride. The 24-year-old actress has not yet set a date for her wedding to fiancĂ© Wladimir Klitschko but already knows she wants to look "classy and elegant". She told People: "I would like some really long, loose boho beach waves and just a nice golden tan."I want to be classy and elegant and sophisticated, but I also don't want to forget my age. I want to be comfortable. I want it to be just sexy enough, but youthful at the same time. I don't want to look so done up."
  • They've got the Voice: Talent show contestants Georgia May Harrup a distant cousin of superstar Adele and country singer Talia Smith arrive for the unique interactive event making an appearance at the Harvey Nichols Baileys Feaster Egg Hunt, which saw the popular Knightsbridge store transported to 18th century Versailles as guests participated in an interactive hunt for a Baileys Chocolate Luxe Easter Egg - Image The “Hell on Heels” singer Talia made the most of the current hot pastel trend in a pale pink top (H&M) with fabulous matching wedged suede stilettos, broken up by leather leggings and black-lapelled pastel blazer (H&M).
  • Carolynne Poole the X Factor 2012 final 12 contestant and C2C2014 Pop Up stage artist posted a hot new photo before a trip to America and was currently enjoying the sun in Arizona (Image)

  • Shelley Minson the Tamworth based Aussie Pin Up rockabilly Singer/ Songwriter had fun unleashing her inner Easter Bunny! — with and Gothic Lolita Wigs and Pinup Girl Clothing (Vintage inspired clothing, vintage reproduction dresses, Vintage Inspired Swimwear, retro dresses, retro shoes, retro accessories, retro lingerie, Pinup Couture etc) - Image
  • Don’t Play It Like that Again: Luke "Bro-Country" Bryan's son Bo took black and red sharpies and wrote on every white key of their piano - Image
April 21: The late Ira Louvin (1924; died June 20, 1965 (aged 41)) )
April 22: Cleve Francis (1945), Glen Campbell  (1936), Kellie Coffey (1978) 
April 23: The late Roy Orbison (1936; died December 6, 1988 (aged 52))
April 24: Richard Sterban (Oak Ridge Boys) (1943), Rebecca Lynn Howard (1979) 
April 25: Rob Crosby (1954), Kate Mackenzie (1952)
April 26: Jay DeMarcus (Rascal Flatts) (1971)
April 27: Herb Pedersen (1944), Donna Ulisse  

Country singer Kevin Sharp died on Saturday (April 19, 2014) from past stomach surgeries and digestive issues, his website confirmed. He was 43
Sharp, best known for his hit song “Nobody Knows”, battled with cancer as a teenager in the Nineties. Born in California, December 1970, he spent his younger years appearing in musicals, but after suffering from fatigue and excessive dizziness, he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma - a form of blood cancer.
Despite being given a slim chance of recovery, he survived – although permanently lost his hair due to the chemotherapy treatment. While still recovering, he met legendary producer David Foster through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Sharp went onto create a demo tape and Foster helped sign him to Asylum Records in Nashville. On Sept 24, 1996 he released his first album, MEASURE OF A MAN (#4 Billboard Country Albums peak), selling over 500,000 copies, while his first single, Nobody Knows, spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart. The second single "She's Sure Taking It Well" (Asylum) written by Tim Buppert, Don Pfrimmer and George Teren, released February 10, 1997 reached #3 on Hot Country Songs
Read an obituary at The Tennessean
Reba McEntire tweeted Prayers go out to Kevin Sharp's family. RIP Kevin.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Country Billboard Chart News April 17, 2014

Country Billboard Chart News April 17, 2014

In Brief:  Billboard Country Charts

Country Album Chart ** No. 1 (1 week) “Everlasting” Martina McBride
Hot Country Songs ** No.1 (1 week) ** “Play It Again” Luke Bryan
Country Airplay ** No. 1 (1 weeks) ** “Drink to That All Night” Jerrod Niemann
Country Digital Songs ** No.1 (2 weeks) ** Play It Again” Luke Bryan

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News

The unstoppable soundtrack to Disney's "Frozen" continued its run atop the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart (BB200) as it clocked a 10th non-consecutive week at No.1. The set sold 133,165 copies (11% down) in the week ending April 13, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album’s cumulative sales also climb past the 2 million mark (After 20 weeks – 2,076,587)
"Frozen" is now one of just 11 albums to have spent at least 10 weeks at No.1 since the chart started using SoundScan's point-of-sale data on May 25, 1991. Four of those 11 albums also happen to be soundtracks: “Frozen,” Whitney Houston's "The Bodyguard" (20 weeks at No. 1), "Titanic" (16 weeks) and "The Lion King" (10 weeks). In addition, "Frozen" now ties "The Lion King" for the most weeks at No. 1 for an animated film soundtrack.

Martina McBride became the only woman in the chart’s 50-year history to debut at No.1 on the Billboard Country Album Chart with an independently released and distributed album, as EVERLASTING (Vinyl Recordings) arrived on the BB200 at No.7, her highest debut in seven years, selling 20,880 copies
The title also opened at No.2 on Billboard Independent Albums.
"Everlasting" is McBride's highest-charting album on the Billboard 200 since 2007's WAKING UP LAUGHING debuted and peaked at No. 4. This is her fourth #1 album and first since 2009's SHINE.

Martina’s previous 5 Albums (Chart Debuts and sales)

  • Her seventh studio album MARTINA (RCA Nashville) released on Sept 30, 2003 peaked at #7 on the Billboard 200 and was a #1Country album. It opened with sales of 123,000 units; and by the end of Oct 2005 had sold 1.7 million. In the U.S. the album was certified Gold on Nov 7, 2003, Platinum on Jan 12, 2004 and 2xPlatinum on April 20, 2006 by the R.I.A.A.
  • Her eighth studio album TIMELESS (RCA Nashville) released October 18, 2005 peaked at #3 on the BB200 and #1 Country. It marked her third consecutive No.1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums list. With debut sales of 185,000 copies, the 18-track collection of classic country songs also achieves her best sales week to date.
  • Her ninth studio album WAKING UP LAUGHING (RCA Nashville) released April 3, 2007 peaked at #4 on the BB200 and #2 Country (chart week April 21, 2007). It opened with sales of 138,666 copies and was blocked to #1 by Tim McGraw's album LET IT GO (176,592 2nd week sales)
  • Her 10th studio album SHINE (RCA Nashville), released March 24, 2009 (RCA Nashville) peaked at #10 on the BB200 and #1 Country (chart week April 11, 2009) and opened with sales of 41,457 copies
  • ELEVEN (Republic Nashville) her eleventh studio, released October 11, 2011 peaked at #4 on the BB200 and #4 Country (chart week Oct 29, 2011) and opened with sales of 40,116 copies (blocked by Scotty McCreery 88,153 (2nd week), new entry from Lauren Alaina 69,013 sales)
 “Everlasting” is a collection of Motown hits and oldies done her own way. McBride says she intended the album to be a gift, something you could relax with or put on while you're cooking. "It's like comfort food," she says. It features Kelly Clarkson on the Etta James and Sugar Pie DeSanto classic "In The Basement," and Gavin DeGraw on Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home To Me."
Even though Martina McBride‘s new CD is a collection of R&B covers, she doesn’t believe Everlasting is that much of a departure for her. “I just follow my instincts, and in thinking about what I wanted to sing next, and what I wanted to do next, I thought, ‘Well, I’m a country music artist, and a very proud one. But at the end of the day, I'm a vocalist,’” she said. “You know, I love to sing everything. So, in my shows over the years, we've done everything from ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ to Pat Benatar to Aretha Franklin to Journey, whatever. So I just wanted to kinda stretch and do something a little different.”
Martina even picked a title that continues the thread she started with her 2005 collection of country classics. “This music is timeless, but I couldn't call it Timeless, 'cause I've done that already. So, it seemed like Everlasting was kind of the same idea. And I just love the idea. It's very musical and poetic.”
>> Watch the Background & Promo video 
Promoting the album Tuesday (4/8) Martina McBride appeared on Today (NBC) on April 8th. She performed her cover of the Etta James classic "In The Basement" on TV show Arsenio. On PBS-TV's Tavis Smiley she explained why she's charting new territory with forthcoming album non country classic soul and R&B set titled Everlasting. "I'm excited about this tour cos I'm going to do a whole tour around this album bringing out a horn section, backing vocals and maybe do some moves!" she shared. >> Watch at  There was also an exclusive Album Premiere of new album at

Critical reception for “Everlasting”:
12 Tracks / Time: 39:01 (Vinyl Recordings)
CD - MP3 - UK iTunes (2 Bonus Tracks) - 

Allmusic (Rating: 3.5 STARS) ... Everlasting has soul in its heart, with the singer tackling R&B standards....There's warmth in Was' production and honey in McBride's voice and if the combination can sometimes result in too-sweet tea, it's nevertheless soothing.
USA Today by Jerry Shriver (Rating: 3 out of 4 STARS) Covering classic soul tunes is an overdone concept, but this well-chosen collection shines, particularly when McBride teams with Gavin DeGraw (Bring It On Home To Me) and Kelly Clarkson (In the Basement). Download: If You Don't Know Me By Now, Wild Night

Oakland Press (Rating: 3 STARS) ....So “Everlasting,” produced by Detroit native Don Was, is a labor of love and a testament to McBride’s versatility, showing she can sell even the most gutbucket R&B tunes with her pure vocal tone and exceptional phrasing skills...McBride will likely return to original material on her next project, but “Everlasting” is a welcome and successful exercise in creative stretching.
Country Weekly (Rating: A-) Different as they may appear on the surface, country music and soul have a great deal in common: talented vocalists who sing with feeling, impeccable songwriting and melodies that you can’t shake, for starters. So while it may seem like a drastic change of course for Martina McBride to go soul on the new album Everlasting, it’s really more of a slight left for the lady....Overall the recording sounds great—warm and intimate without sacrificing polish. If there’s a complaint, it’s that the era-hopping from Elvis’ “Suspicious Minds”
to Motown to Phil Spector’s “To Know Him Is to Love Him” feels a little stylistically scattered. But thankfully, there’s always Martina right in the center, pulling the disparate threads together into one soulful mixture.

Billboard by Chuck Dauphin: Whether it be on time-honored classics as “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” or “To Know Him Is To Love Him,” the angelic voice of McBride shines from beginning to end on these evergreen compositions....Throw in an energetic duet with Kelly Clarkson on “In The Basement,” and you’ve got an excellent disc that celebrates some of the best American Pop music of the past five decades – from one of its’ best singers!

Roughstock: ...Even though McBride’s new covers collection, Everlasting, is as much not-country as albums past, few will likely complain. This 12-song collection is filled with oldies but goodies, which lean most closely to the R&B and soul realm in music history. And it’s wonderful! For some of us, many of these songs are also all time favorites; the ones that still get turned up every time they come up in the oldies radio rotation.....It’s difficult to imagine snobby people getting all hot and bothered over musical genre classification when listening to Everlasting. It’s not really about whether or not this is country music; it’s about great songs sung well. Therefore, put it on. Turn it up. And enjoy.

Last week’s Country No.1 Dan+Shay’s album WHERE IT ALL BEGAN slid 6-25 on the BB200 (1-6 Country) with sales down 68% in their second week

In the wake of his exposure on the Academy of Country Music Awards on April 6 saw Luke Bryan's CRASH MY PARTY jump 15-8 on the BB200 (3-2 Country; 19,000; up 14%). Florida Georgia Line, returned to the top 10, climbing 19-10 on the BB200 with HERE'S TO THE GOOD TIMES (sales of 17,000; were up 14%).
Kacey Musgraves secured a 27% sales boost (65-34 BB200) for her ACM Award-winning SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK (Mercury) and has surpassed 400,000 in sales after 56 weeks. Darius Rucker’s TRUE BELIEVERS album also picked up some ACM traction after his performance of “Wagon Wheel” moving 160-108 on the BB200 (26-19 Country). The set has now surpassed the GOLD certification mark at retail and has now sold 502,000 copies in 47 chart weeks.

Outside of the Top 25 Country albums

Carlene Carter made a debut at #40 selling 1,400 copies of CARTER GIRL. It landed at #13 on the Americana Music playlist charts before it was official released. It made its debut in the UK on the Official Country Album Chart at No.3 (Week April 19, 2014) 
>> Watch the background to "Troublesome Waters"  

Critical reception for “Carter Girl”:
12 Tracks/ Time: 46:06 CD - MP3 - Smart Choice Music -

Allmusic (rating: 4 STARS) A great legacy can be a blessing and a curse, and when your mother is June Carter and your stepdad is Johnny Cash, you're going to have a lot to live up to in the minds of most folks....2014's Carter Girl, she embraces their vital role in country music's history while also putting her own stamp on their body of work.... There's as much rock and blues as country in her takes on "Little Black Train," "Blackie's Gunman," and "Blackjack David," but Carter approaches these songs as something fresh and vital, and she fills them with her own fearless spirit....On Carter Girl, Carlene Carter has confronted the mighty legacy of the Carter Family's songbook and allowed it to strengthen her music rather than buckling under its weight, and this ranks with her finest recorded work to date.

Huffington Post Carlene Carter's new album, a tribute to the musical heritage of her fabled family, is a triumph. Carlene and producer Don Was sifted through some 400 songs before settling on the 12 tracks for Carter Girl, a blending of Carter/Cash classics, songs from her own catalogue and a couple of relative obscurities. Extended family members like Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Mickey Raphael, Vince Gill and Elizabeth Cook help make the music shine as bright as the last name of the man at the mixing board, Bob Clearmountain....If you think Bob Dylan invented the "Ain't Gonna Work" song, Carter Girl's final number, "I Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow," will disabuse you of that notion. It "builds on a track featuring the Carter Sisters, Johnny Cash and the acoustic guitar of the late Cowboy Jack Clement," according to Jim Bessman's liner notes. (Yes, old-school liner notes come with the CD!). Carter Girl is that rare contemporary album with a cohesiveness that rewards listening from start to finish.....further proof that the Carter/Cash circle is unbroken.

Boston Globe Carter’s pose on the cover evokes her mother, but this isn’t meant to be a sepia-toned reproduction of those old songs. Instead, Carter brings them into her musical world ...This may be the best record this Carter girl has ever made.

Ronnie Dunn made a debut at #55 with around 1,000 copies sold of PEACE, LOVE AND COUNTRY MUSIC which was released 8th April 2014 through his own Little Will-E Records.
The 14-track collection was produced by Ronnie with Jeff Balding and includes the single>> “Kiss You There.” Physical copies were made available exclusively through lifestyle retailer Country Outfitter, and digital versions through all digital music outlets.
I really wanted fans to have a say in which songs I put on this album,” said Dunn in a Press Release. “I put a few songs out on social media to see what people liked, or maybe what they didn’t respond to, and we built the album from there. Partnering with Country Outfitter just makes sense because they represent all aspects of the country lifestyle, and music is a huge part of that.
The veteran country superstar was due to perform on national television Wednesday, April 16 on the popular syndicated show, Dr. Phil.  Singing the poignant song “I Wish I Still Smoked Cigarettes,” penned by Luke Laird, Lori McKenna and Barry Dean,

Critical reception for “Peace Love and Country Music:
14 tracks/ Time: MP3 - UK iTunes -  

Roughstock: Ronnie Dunn lays down the gauntlet with “Country In Texas” as he searches for the last remnants of true country music with lines like, “I turn on the radio they’re mixing heavy metal with twang.” You get a lot with Dunn’s second solo album, but you won’t find one iota of bad metal-twang stew here....Whether he intended to do so or not, Dunn oftentimes finds himself getting nostalgic with this latest effort. The song “I Wish I Still Smoked Cigarettes” is not actually about missing sucking down cancer sticks. Rather, it’s nostalgia for that period in his life when he was fearless....Peace Love And Country Music may not take Ronnie Dunn into the stadiums Brooks & Dunn once filled consistently, but it nevertheless provides undeniable evidence that the powers that made B&D country superstars are still fueling Mr. Dunn’s solo work. ......the album is incredibly solid, opening with “Grown Damn Man,” a lyrical journey into Ronnie Dunn and what the album is about......One thing I love about this album is that it stays very true to who Ronnie Dunn is as an artist, without compromise. Any of these songs could’ve appeared on a Brooks & Dunn album ten years ago without feeling out of place..... Interestingly, the album wraps with its title track, “Peace Love and Country Music.” Much like a closer in a Major League Baseball game, this track is a strong and reliable, sounding as much as a prayer as a song. It’s hard to disagree with Ronnie Dunn here, as we could certainly use more peace, love and country music in the world, as well as more albums today like Peace Love and Country Music

2014 Country Album sales Year-To Date:
8,644,000 (Physical sales 5,666,000 (down 9%) + Digital sales 2,979,000 (down 15.7%)) which is 21.7% down at the same point in 2013 (11,044,000 sales)

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Placings

(Issue dated Chart week of April 26, 2014)
(Country Album positions #1 - #25)

(TW) This Week, (LW) Last Week, Co (Country Album Chart placing / Movement)

Top 25 Hot Country Songs (week of April 26, 2014)

On Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart - which blends:
a) All-format airplay, as monitored by BDS 
b) Sales, as tracked by Nielsen SoundScan and
c) Streaming, (tracked by Nielsen BDS from such services as Spotify, Muve, Slacker, Rhapsody, Rdio and Xbox Music, among others) according to BDS it results in:

  • The April 6 Academy of Country Music Awards show pushed gala co-host Luke Bryan’sPlay It Again” (Capitol Nashville) 3-1 on Hot Country Songs bagging the top Digital and Streaming Gainer and lifted the album housing the track, CRASH MY PARTY, 3-2 with Greatest Gainer honors (up 14 percent to 19,000 sold) on Top Country Albums. “Again,” is Bryan’s eighth leader on Hot Country Songs. It logged a second week at No.1 on Country Digital Songs with a 24% retail spike to 108,000 and posted the biggest gain on Country Streaming Songs (4-3; 1.4 million U.S. streams, up 40 percent). The track also flew 26-14 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100.
  • Miranda Lambert the Multiple ACM award winner became the first solo female artist to crack the Hot Country Songs top 10 in more than two months, as “Automatic” (RCA Nashville) surged 12-6. She’s the first to do so since Musgraves’ “Follow Your Arrow” peaked at No.10 on the Feb. 15 chart. On Country Digital Songs, “Automatic” rose 8-4 (51,000, up 63 percent).
Top 25 Hot Country Songs:

Luke Bryan with “Play It Again” climbs two, #3 - #1 to TOP the Chart #1 p
Florida Georgia Line feat Luke Bryan with former #1 “This Is How We Roll” #1-#2 q
Brantley Gilbert with former No1 “Bottoms Up” is down one, #2 - #3 q
Eric Church with “Give Me Back My Hometown” is up one, #5 - #4 p
Jerrod Niemann with “Drink To That All Night” is down one, #4 - #5 q
Miranda Lambert with “Automatic” jumps up six, #12 - #6 p
Rascal Flatts with “Rewind” moves up three, #10 - #7 p
Thomas Rhett with “Get Me Some Of That” is up one, #9 - #8 p
Keith Urban with “Cop Car” drops one, #8 - #9 q
Blake Shelton with “Doin’ What She Likes” falls four, #6 - #10 q
Dan + Shay with “19 You + Me” fell four, #7 - #11 q
Brett Eldredge with “Beat Of The Music” is up one, #13 - #12 p
Justin Moore with “Lettin’ The Night Roll” is up one slot, #14 - #13 p
Jake Owen  with “Beachin’” is up three, #17 - #14 p
Hunter Hayes with “Invisible” moves up one, #16 - #15 p
Luke Bryan with former No.1 “Drink A Beer” is down one, #15 - #16 q
Tyler Farr with “Whiskey In My Water” is up 2 slots, #19 - #17 p
Tim McGraw with “Lookin’ For That Girl” stays at #18
Sara Evans with “Slow Me Down” is up one, #20 - #19 p
Craig Morgan with “Wake Up Lovin’ You” is up one, #21 - #20 p
The Band Perry with “Chainsaw” jumps up six, #27 - #21 p
Lee Brice with “I Don’t Dance” moves up three, #25 - #22 p
Craig Campbell with “Keep Them Kisses Comin’” is up one place, #24 - #23 p
Chris Young with “Who I Am With You” drops two, #22 - #24 q
Billy Currington with “We Are Tonight” slipped two, #23 - #25 q

Hot County Songs
** No.1 (1 week) / Digital & Streaming Gainer ** “Play It Again” Luke Bryan
** Airplay Gainer ** No.8 “Get Me Some Of That” Thomas Rhett
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.26 “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s” Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill
Debut No.45 “Kiss You Tonight” David Nail
Debut No.47 “Night That You’ll Never Forget” Love And Theft
Debut No.48 “Where It’s At” Dustin Lynch

Billboard Country Airplay Chart Week of April 26, 2014

Jerrod Niemann returned to the Country Airplay chart summit with “Drink to That All Night” (Sea Gayle/Arista Nashville), which jumped 3-1 in its 29th chart week. It marked nearly four years after scoring his first No.1 with “Lover, Lover,” which dominated the Aug. 14, 2010 list. 
In between chart-toppers, Niemann’s best showing was a No. 4 peak three years ago with “What Do You Want” (May 7, 2011). All three of his top five-peaking Country Airplay hits have sold at least 500,000 digital downloads, led by “Lover,” which has sold 1.2 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan. “Want” has sold 816,000 and “Drink,” 503,000.
“Drink” (written by Derek George, Lance Miller, Brad Warren and Brett Warren) first released on October 21, 2013  is the lead single from Niemann’s HIGH NOON, which opened at No.3 on the April 12 Billboard Top Country Albums tally.
This chart tracking week it logged 45.715 million audience impressions (+1.890)
Top local audience contributors for “Drink” during the Nielsen BDS tracking week: WUSN Chicago (1.4 million impressions), KKGO Los Angeles (1.3 million) and KKBQ Houston (1 million).

Thomas Rhett with "Get Me Some Of That" (Valory) at No.6 took home the weeks “Most Increased Audience” honours.The song logged 35.980 million audience impressions, a gain of +4.400 million, receiving 5,748 radio plays (+588).

Blake Shelton snagged the “Hot Shot Debut" and “Most Added” trophies at No.39 with “My Eyes” (Warner Bros./Warner Music Nashville), which features second-season The Voice (NBC) contestant Gwen Sebastian. For her it’s her second chart entry (and a career-high bow), following “Met Him in a Motel Room,” which peaked at No. 58 during a three-week chart run two years ago. “My Eyes” is the fifth radio single from Shelton’s album Based on a True Story logged 447 radio plays thanks to 28 fresh radio commitments (ADDS) from the 145 stations monitored for the chart. Last weeks No.1 the fourth single, “Doin’ What She Likes,” tumbled 1-5.  

Women of Country 2014 Watch:
Miranda Lambert at No.10 ("Automatic"), Sara Evans at No.19 (“Slow Me Down”) along with Sheryl Crow No.29 (“Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely”) were the only 3 solo female artists in the Top 30 Country Airplay songs. Cassadee Pope #43, Maggie Rose #47, Kacey Musgraves #50, Lucy Hale #51, Kelleigh Bannen #55 and Katie Armiger #60, were an additional six females in the remaining 31-60 slots, to make it 15% of the top 60 chart.

Country Airplay
*** No. 1 (1 week) *** "Drink To That All Night" Jerrod Niemann
** Most Increased Audience ** No. 6 "Get Me Some Of That" Thomas Rhett
** Hot Shot Debut / Most Added ** No.39 "My Eyes" Blake Shelton featuring Gwen Sebastian
Debut No.54 "Feelin' It" Scotty McCreery

Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart Week of April 26, 2014

  • Luke Bryan remained atop the Billboard Digital Singles Chart once more with “Play It Again”. The single sold 108,000 downloads, up 24% on the previous week. His 23 week charting “Drink A Beer”, at No.26, also sailed past the PLATINIUM RIAA marker with a new tally of 1,016,000.
  • Florida Georgia Line’sThis Is How We Roll” held at No.2 who also received a 10% ACM Awards boost.
  • Miranda Lambert with “Automatic” moved 8-4 with an impressive 63% retail bump after the multi award winner performed it at the ACM Awards performance.
  • Keith Urban’s run of Gold singles continued as “Cop Car” has GOLD RIAA Eligiblity having reached 503,000 downloads in 12 weeks
  • Tim McGraw’s new single “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s” made a No.9 debut having showcased it at The ACM Awards with wife Faith Hill.
  • Dan+Shay scored their first GOLD Single with “19 You + Me” having crossed the 1/2-million mark, in 22 weeks it has now reached 521K sales.
  • Thomas Rhett with “Get Me Some of That” at #13 also scored his second RIAA GOLD (or Platinum) in his 19th chart.  
  • Brad Paisley’sRiver Bank” made its bow at #19 after it was aired during a special segment from the Las Vegas MGM Grand’s Talent Pool as part of the ACM awards.
Women Of Country Watch
Only 1 solo female artist on the Top 30 placings:
Miranda Lambert with her new single "Automatic" in its nineth week at retail sold 51K (climbed 8-4)

 Dropping off the Top 30:
16 - Off the Top 50 chart Clare Bowen “Black Roses”
27-33 David Nail “Whatever She’s Got”
28-34 Sara Evans “Slow Me Down”  

Top 30 Digital Singles in Country Music (published April 17, 2014)
 (LW) Last Week  (TW) This Week
*Numbers are rounded to nearest 1000th

Country Aircheck/ Mediabase chart

Randy Houser with “Goodnight Kiss” (Stoney Creek) moved 2-1 to top the Mediabase Country chart for the tracking week April 6th to the 12th. The song logged 7,573 radio spins (+310) and 60.157 million audience impressions from 148 tracking stations.
So it’s congrats to Jon Loba, Carson James, Chris Loss and the entire Stoney Creek promotion team for scoring the week’s #1 spot. This is Houser’s third consecutive chart-topper, following “How Country Feels” and “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight,” the latter of which hit #1 on Mon, August 5th. All three are on Houser’s “How Country Feels” album, released in 2013.

Known amongst fans and industry insiders alike for his powerhouse vocals and versatile songwriting abilities, Houser’s previous successes include the 2009 No. 2 hit “Boots On” (written by Houser and Brandon Kinney) and debut power ballad “Anything Goes.” He has had a hand in writing numerous hits for other artists, including Trace Adkins’ 2006 smash “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” which also peaked just shy of the top at No. 2. While “How Country Feels” and “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight” each gave Houser the well-earned No. 1 spot as an artist, “Goodnight Kiss” is an especially sweet victory for the seasoned songsmith. 
I have been so blessed this past year to have such incredible success on country radio and have three number-one’s in a row,” said Houser. “But it’s especially cool to see ‘Goodnight Kiss’ up there this week and to have that recognition now as a songwriter, too.” (Source – Press Release)

It was also congrats to Warner Music Nashville SVP/Promotion Kevin Herring, VP/Promotion Kristen Williams and their entire promo team for earing 64 MEDIABASE adds on Blake Shelton's "My Eyes." Those adds gave Shelton the "Most Added" title for the week. Bagels were due to be delivered to Warner's office (April 15th) to congratulate the staff on their success.

For a detailed report check out Country Aircheck Weekly Issue 392 - April 14, 2014 [PDF File]
For the very latest up to the minute Mediabase Chart (Past 7 Days) go here -