Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Kacey Musgraves - New Album PAGEANT MATERIAL & UK Tour Dates

Kacey Musgraves new album PAGEANT MATERIAL is NOW OUT (released 23rd June 2015).
Scroll down to take a listen to the FULL Album and read the reviews.

  • UK TOUR DATES: She has announced a fresh UK tour this November and is the cover feature for the UK's Country Music People’s July issue magazine.

The "Follow Your Arrow" Texan native is a frequent UK visitor who has appeared several times in the last three years including BBC Radio 2’s >> Live in Hyde Park event in the Summer 2014.

She is now set to return for shows at The Sage in Gateshead, Birmingham Institute, Dublin Academy, the O2 ABC Glasgow, Manchester's Albert Hall and London's Royal Albert Hall between November 9 and 18.
Tickets go on GENERAL Sale: Friday 26th June 2015 at 9am priced at £22.50 (£27.50 in London), plus fees.
UK Tour Dates
Monday 9th November, 2015 - The Sage, Gateshead (Venue Sage One; £24 (includes £1.50 booking fee) Event Detail
Tues 10th November 2015 - The Institute, Birmingham (78 Digbeth High Street, B5 6DY)
Thurs 12th November 2015 - The Academy, Dublin, IE (57 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin, 1)
Sunday 15th November 2015 - O2 ABC, Glasgow (9300 Sauchiehall Street, G2 3JA)
Weds 18th November 2015 - Royal Albert Hall, London (Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP)

(June 16) Kacey wanted to have a fabulous album release party for her sophomore project, Pageant Material, so she enlisted the drag queens of Nashville gay bar, Play, to perform the album for her friends and industry insiders.
The party took place Monday night (June 15th) in front of a capacity crowd, but Kacey and her publicist friend, Elice Cuff, dreamed up the party during Elice's recent birthday bash at Play.

Before the album release show got started, Kacey recalled, "We were here for [Elice's] birthday, slightly inebriated, and she leaned over and was like, 'You have to do something here for your album.' And I was like, 'That is a brilliant idea.' So, it's all Elice's idea, and it was a really good one." The drag queens performed most of the tracks from Kacey's album, including the lead single, "Biscuits." In between the performances, Kacey took the stage to introduce each song while decked out in a black,
sequined jacket and satiny, black hot pants. As for the venue of her party, Kacey has been a regular at Play ever since she moved to Nashville several years ago. She went to a few gay bars while living in Austin, Texas, but none of them compared with the drag shows she saw in Music City.
WATCH Kacey >> Introduces Pageant Material Drag Show Album Launch
Watch Fun "Pageant Queen" Instagram Video

She's hosting another party at Nashville's Acme Feed & Seed to launch Texas-based vodka brand, Zodiac.
“When I first tried the vodka, I loved it and knew I wanted to be a part of it,” Kacey told the crowd. “It’s really cool that it is gluten free, I love that it is a healthier alternative and it tastes great. Make sure you visit your local retailer to buy a bottle, and if they don’t have it, tell them to get it.”
NASHVILLE, TN – JUNE 16:  Kacey Musgraves attends the Official Party for
 Zodiac Vodka’s Debut in Tennessee. (Photos by Jason Davis/Getty Images for Zodiac Vodka)

Kacey, who serves as the product’s brand ambassador, wasn’t just there to look pretty, which she did. A contest showcasing inventive vodka cocktails from six of the hottest bartenders in Nashville was part of the evening’s fun, and Kacey, her bandmates and the guests served as judges while they nibbled on mini beef and hot chicken biscuits . . . of course. …Read More at
Related Post: Interview HOW (THE OTHERWISE GLUTEN-FREE) Country Music Star Kacey Musgraves Gets Her Biscuit Fix
Press Release PDF File (Oct 2014) Zodiac Vodka Launches in Texas and Announces Brand Partnership with Grammy-Winning Artist Kacey Musgraves

Watch Kacey Musgraves - Roses, Pantyhose & Pedal Steel (album introduction)

Watch  "Biscuits" Official video Published on Jun 10, 2015 (1 million+ views)
Peak Postions:  US Country Airplay (Billboard) #41, US Hot Country Songs (Billboard) #28

14 Tracks/ Time: 46:02
BUY:  CD - MP3 - UK iTunes -

1. High Time (Luke Laird / Shane McAnally / Kacey Musgraves) >> Live in Manchester
2. Dime Store Cowgirl  (Luke Laird / Shane McAnally / Kacey Musgraves) >> Audio
3. “Late to the Party” (Musgraves, Brandy Clark, Josh Osborne)
4. “Pageant Material” (Musgraves, Laird, McAnally)
5. “This Town” (Musgraves, Laird, Clark)
6. “Biscuits” (Musgraves, McAnally, Clark)
7. “Somebody to Love” (Musgraves, McAnally, Osborne)
8. “Miserable” (Musgraves, Osborne, Clark)
9. “Die Fun” (Musgraves, Laird, McAnally)
10. “Family is Family” (Musgraves, McAnally, Osborne)
11. “Good Ol’ Boys Club” (Musgraves, Laird, Natalie Hemby)
12. “Cup of Tea” (Musgraves, McAnally, Osborne) >> Live at The Ritz Manchester
13. “Fine” (Musgraves, Ashley Arrison, Shane McAnally)
14. Are You Sure (Hidden Track) ft. Willie Nelson)" (Willie Nelson, Buddy Emmons)

PLEASE NOTE ** Requires Spotify to be installed on your computer with application OPEN
>> Test Drive on SPOTIFY 

Our Top Tracks:
**** “Dime Store Cowgirl”, *** High Time, ** "Biscuits", ** "Somebody to Love", **" "Die Fun"

Play embed tracks

What The Critics are saying about Pageant Material:

Musgraves is not just an original but very catchy. Pageant Material is a master class in how to produce a commercial album. This is an extremely strong outing that will likely out-do all the achievements of its predecessor. I guarantee you'll be singing it’s a hi-i-i-i-gh time before very long! (4.5 STARS) Duncan Warwick Country Music People

This is an even better album than her last, with more consistency and variety (Billboard; 4.5 STARS)

This album is comprised of many strands; thoughts, emotions, ideas that are enacted both sonically and lyrically, and delivered with an expression and personality that is purely’s one of the most brilliant records I have ever heard...What’s a sophomore slump? - For The Country Record 

Despite this conspicuous lack of hits, Pageant Material doesn't make concessions to commercial radio. It is of a piece with Same Trailer Different Park, partially because a chunk of it was written around the same time... Pageant Material favors softness, sometimes nearly swooning in its slowness.... on "Family Is Family," where it seems like she can't wait to be rid of those leeches -- but it's hardly enough to prevent the album from being a rich, enchanting collection of stories, confessions, and the occasional joke - AllMusic Review (Rating: 4 STARS)

While the album shares her debut's blend of old-fashioned country stylings and lyrics that adjust for a millennial's perspective, it's also a lot less assertive; it's a laidback, if melodically impeccable, set that makes subtle strides in developing Musgraves's sound....All this leaves Musgraves a bit short of the revolutionary edict the press have foisted on her. Her music is as rooted in organic country and western traditions as ever, flush with cosmopolitan strings, instrumental banjo breaks, and generous portions of pedal steel, but the songwriting comes less organically, too often stretching itself thin over a genre that's historically benefited from a measure of simplicity - Slant Magazine (Rating 3 STARS)

Musgraves' greatest strength, though, is in her storytelling. The way she captures bucolic life in "This Town" is remarkably evenhanded (NewsDay; Grade A)
Her understated sophomore masterpiece.... But Musgraves produces her finest songs when she squints into the sun and wonders about the future..... On her excellent second album, she brings us the whole block - SPIN (Rating: 9 of 10)

Her country pop remains warm and easy-going, her vocals relaxed and her most likable quality, a perky, faintly provocative wit, is very much intact. There’s a cheerful rejection here of the male country establishment, a breezy tribute to family that blends exasperation and affection, and even her forays into the classic second album themes of fame and dislocation are delivered with a self-deprecating charm. Though hooky and melodic, none of these songs quite has the earworm adhesiveness of the best country pop but Musgraves makes for enjoyable company nonetheless. (The Guardian; 3 STARS)

Pageant Material is an album of small, personal pleasures: the late-'60s countrypolitan touches of This Town, the confident individualism of Good Ol' Boys Club, the in-our-own-world romance of Late to the Party. Campy and sweet and touching, with the occasional winking allusion to drug use, these songs come from a woman determined to feel comfortable in her own skin...She may not be everybody's cup of tea, but Musgraves is certainly worth loving on her own terms (USA Today 3 out of 4 STARS)

Pageant Material adheres to the same winning formula of Same Trailer — almost too closely. Taken individually, the album’s 13 tracks serve as a master class on how to write a charmingly unique country song using smart metaphors that a fifth grader can grasp and that can make an octogenarian ache with recognition. But for now, saying the same thing over and over, even in fancy phrasing, is just another broken record. (Consequence Of Sound; Rating C)

Country Music People Cover Feature
Kacey is the cover feature for the July 2015 issue of Country Music People found in W.H.Smith stores from the first Thursday in July or via their subscription service or at
Country Music People editor Duncan Warwick writes: Here is the new front cover. The July issue includes possibly the longest reviews section ever... and still there wasn't room for them all! "Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy!" Enjoy.

In 2014 Mr. Warwick received The Wesley Rose International Media Achievement Award which recognizes outstanding achievements in the media, which contribute to the development of Country Music outside the United States. Radio, TV, print journalists, authors, editors, television writers, producers, and PR companies who reside outside the United States are eligible to win this award. Past UK recipients include: Wally Whyton, BBC Radio 2 (1992), Tony Byworth, Byworth Wootton (1993), Mark Hagen, VH-1 (1996), Terry Wogan and Paul Walters (2005), Alan Cackett editor of Maverick Magazine (2008), Al Booth, BBC Radio 2 (2010) and Bob Harris OBE, BBC Radio 2 (2013).
The way that country music is perceived in the U.K. has always been of concern to me and over the years I have done anything I could to further the cause,” said Warwick...Read more in the Full CMA Press Release

About Kacey Musgraves
Birth name: Kacey Lee Musgraves
Born: August 21, 1988 in Alba, Texas, United States
Origin: Golden, Texas
Genres:  Country, Alt country, Americana
  • Texas-native and Nashville-based singer/songwriter, Kacey Musgraves released her Mercury Records Nashville debut album, SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK, in the spring of 2013 to massive critical acclaim and recognition.  The album which she co-produced with Shane McAnally and Luke Laird released to retail on March 19, 2013 landing the No.1 position on the Billboard Country Chart and No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart with 43,496 units sold and has since scanned GOLD selling over 500,000 copies. On the Official UK Albums Top 100 (Week April 27, 2013) made a debut at No.39 with sales of 2,634 sales for her first UK chart album. As of May 2015 it has spent 97 chart weeks on the UK Official Country album Chart
  • “Same Trailer Different Park” includes her top 10, platinum-selling single "Merry Go 'Round," (peak # 14 Hot Country Songs chart; #10 on Billboard Country Airplay). 2015 “Blowin’ Smoke,” (peak # 23 Billboard Country Airplay chart) gold-certified “Follow Your Arrow,” (peak # 10 Hot Country Songs chart; #43 on Billboard Country Airplay) and “Keep It to Yourself.” (#32 Billboard Country Airplay)
  • She’s received CMT Music Award and Teen Choice Award nominations, and has taken home the award for "New Artist of the Year" at 2013's CMA Awards.
  • "Follow Your Arrow" (writers: Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally & Kacey Musgraves) WON Song of the Year at the 2014 Country Music Association Awards
  • Musgraves won two Grammy Awards for Best Country Song (“Merry Go ‘Round”) and Best Country Album
  • (Same Trailer Different Park) and took home the ACM Award for Album of the Year (Same Trailer Different Park).
  • She has performed and appeared on the "Today Show," "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," "Late Show with David Letterman," "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," “”BBC Breakfast” and Aled Jones’ ITV “Weekend”.
  • She opened for Katy Perry on her Prismatic World Tour.
  • On March 16, 2015 she released "Biscuits" as the lead single from her second major label studio album, Pageant Material which has peaked at #41 on Billboard Country Airplay.
  • PAGEANT MATERIAL (Mercury Nashville) her fifth studio album and second major label album was released June 23, 2015. Musgraves co-wrote all thirteen tracks and co-produced the album with Luke Laird and Shane McAnally.

For more information about Kacey’s upcoming performances visit:

CONNECT with Kacey Musgraves:
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Kacey Musgraves Country & Western Rhinestone Revue Tour Dates:
8/27 – Atlanta, Ga. @ The Buckhead Theatre
9/11 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Wiltern
9/18 – St. Louis, Mo. @ The Pageant
9/23 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Ryman Auditorium
10/1 – Detroit, Mich. @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
10/3 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ The Trocadero Theatre
10/9 – New Orleans, Louisiana @ The Howlin’ Wolf
10/11 – Tulsa, Okla. @ Cains Ballroom
10/15 – Charlottesville, Va. @ Paramount Theater
10/16 – Washington, D.C. @ Lincoln Theatre
10/23 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
10/24 – New York, NY @ Apollo Theater
11/9 –  Gateshead, UK @ Sage Gateshead
11/10 – Birmingham, UK @ The Institute
11/12 – Dublin, Ireland @ Dublin Academy
11/15 – Glasgow, UK @ Glasgow ABC
11/16 – Manchester, UK @ Albert Hall
11/18 – London, UK @ Royal Albert Hall
11/20 – Hamburg, Germany @ Knust
11/22 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands @ Melkweg

Friday, 22 May 2015

Under The Apple Tree Sessions - WhisperingBobTV CHART

We compile a chart of the favourite published videos, taking a look at what the Whispering Bob Broadcasting Company does and how it may help you as an artist.

Back in April 2015 BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris (OBE) stated that he along with his media savvy son Miles Myerscough-Harris had filmed more than a hundred sessions and posted them on their WhisperingBobTV YouTube channel and on the WBBC site He described the latest (posted 3rd April 2015) from Bears Den as a “superb performance”
Under The Apple Tree Studio - Squirrels eye view!

The Under The Apple Tree Sessions (UTAT) are a Media Entertainment Platform.

Just outside their studio is an apple tree that overhangs it. 
In fact every now and again there will be a loud clunk the other side of the ceiling where an apple has dropped off the tree else there will be scratching where squirrels are running across the roof! “It can be a little bit annoying when your recording" shared Bob and Miles in the inaugural #UnderTheAppleTree podcast!

Watch the >> Welcome to Under The Apple Tree! | UTAT Podcast #1 (published Feb 4, 2014)

Bob asked: Are you enjoying them? Which are the your favourites?
We read and we have enthusiastically responded!

On 15th March 2015 we looked at all of the 236 UTAT sessions published since February 2014 and logged the published dates and total number of views compiling an exclusive chart sorted in “most viewed” and showed the number of days since the videos were uploaded.

Coming out on top of the Apple Tree at Nos 1 & 2 were the hot UK country duo The Shires (Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes) which is an indication of their success and massive UK national exposure on TV and BBC Radio 2 during 2014 and beyond.
Congrats to The Shires
#1 & #2 Under The Apple Tree Chart 

The Grand Ole Opry and CMA Fest Nashville bound duo were way out in front at No.1 with their UTAT cover of Candi Staton’s “Young Hearts Run Free” with a total of 19,231 views during its 298 days.
>> Watch it Here

It's followed at #2 by a live performance of their Radio 2 playlisted single “Tonight” which logged 12,011 views in 301 days.

At No.3 with 11,992 views in 277 days is the 47 piece band Joe Broughton's Conservatoire Folk Ensemble who joined the Under The Apple Tree tent at Fairport's Cropredy Convention in 2014 to perform a medley. 38-year old Macclesfield born Joe took up the drums at the age of 4 to accompany his older brother Ben, the beginnings of a duo ongoing 30 years later. The violin captured Joe's imagination in 1981 taking an interest in folk, classical, blues and jazz music from the word go.

At No.4 (10416 views; 415 days published) on our chart is Martin Barre of Jethro Tull performing “Misère” live on-stage at Fairport's Cropredy Convention 2013, and later joined Bob Harris in the Hippie House backstage for a chat.

At No.5 (6,848 views; 429 days published) is Danny & The Champions who performed “Darlin' Won't You Come In From The Cold' also live at Fairport's Cropredy Convention 2013 with lead guy Danny Wilson joining Bob in the Hippie House backstage..

Here is a screen shot of the Under The Apple Tree Sessions Top 10

Use our Google ONLINE SPREADSHEET to view the COMPLETE Chart with links to all the videos.

The 236 videos have received a total of 273,797 views since the first video was uploaded 465 days ago.
The question is should these videos have received a lot more views and attention?

Taylor Swift with Bob, Trudie & Miles Harris (R)
Nashville Bridgestone Concert Sept 2013
By comparison in the country music world if you take for instance Brad Paisley’s recent social media buzz worthy video "Crushin' It", published on May 12, 2015 it alone has received 611,000 views in 10 days.

The 273,797 Under The Apple Tree views probably represents the number of hits a new Taylor Swift video receives in its first 15 minutes lifespan! 
Her post Billboard Music Awards action-packed “Bad Blood” has garnered 20.1 million views in just 24 hours, setting a new Vevo record!

Answer: As both Bob and Miles Harris know Taylor Swift perhaps they should ask her to tweet their video links!

  • If you are an artist who has appeared on an UTAT session take a look at where you figure on the chart.
  • Should your exclusive video have been viewed a lot more?
  • Could you share it more across social media?
  • Have you embedded it on your website fan newsletter? 
  • Could you use it as part of an EPK to help secure tour gigs?
  • Stepping Stone: Many of the artists who have taken part in the Under The Apple Tree Sessions have gone on to play the Pop Up Stages at the C2C Festival in front of potentially a 1,000 music fans.
As a recording artist you can apply for a session by filling out an application under the ‘contact’ section of the Whispering Bob Broadcasting Company (WBBC) - WEBSITE

You can Subscribe to see the Under The Apple Tree sessions - Playlists - YouTube - WBBCOfficial/videos
Download the Under The Apple Tree iTunes Podcast - LINK

In this bonus performance (UTAT Podcast #10) singer-songwriter Lisa Redford talks about the challenges of being an Independent artist!

About WhisperingBobTV:

Whispering Bob Broadcasting Company (WBBC) is described as “a dynamic, rapidly-growing television production unit”.
WhisperingBobTV, part of WBBC, is a channel for music lovers everywhere. Curated by Bob Harris himself, with a focus on bringing you the best music they possibly can via their Under The Apple Tree Sessions, festival coverage, exclusive interviews and much more!

Many who attended this year’s C2C Country To Country 2015 Festival will have witnessed an incredible weekend of Under The Apple Tree live sessions. Their live stage held in The Saloon, found in the WM Jazz Club at The O2 Arena complex featured an intimate space for singer songwriters to perform and talk about their song-writing. 
Under The Apple Tree Live @ C2C2015
Katie Armiger in The Saloon-7th March 2015

C2C ticket holders and members of the public were invited to come along, sit back, relax and enjoy the programme for FREE. The programme of events some of which was broadcast on the BBC Radio 2’s Country four-day pop-up digital service celebrated the music and included appearances from legendary Texan singer-songwriter Kimmie Rhodes, the up-and-coming Nashville singer-songwriter, Angel Snow, hot UK duo Ward Thomas, American singer Katie Armiger plus Woody Pines, Worry Dolls, Loud Mountains and the Goat Roper Rodeo Band.
The Saloon was absolutely packed on both days, with queues outside round the block! On the Saturday March 7th we headed to the venue to catch Katie Armiger’s 13:30-13:55 and waited patiently outside. As we entered Bob’s delightful wife Trudie was manning the door (probably keeping a close eye on the time with her husbands very busy media commitments)  with Bob Harris standing close by whilst son Miles was hard at work on the sound desk. The atmosphere was wonderful and Katie’s set was terrific in what felt like walking into a TV set at a mock-up Bluebird Café in Nashville.

CLICK to ENLARGE Beth Nielsen Chapman & Gang (Back At Beths)
WhisperingBobTV have produced programmes for the BBC’s ‘Country Nights’ season in November 2014. Bob Harris: My Nashville logged Bob’s journey to America’s country music capital and revealed why Nashville became Music City USA. From the beginnings of the Grand Ole Opry on commercial radio, through the threatening onset of rock ‘n’ roll in the 1950s, right up to the modern mainstream hits of Music Row, a story of how music has shaped Nashville and why today it’s a place of pilgrimage for musicians from all over the world.

The follow-up programme 'Back To Beth's: A Nashville House was a concert which went out on BBC 4 and the BBC Red Button respectively, garnering fantastic audience reaction. It is hard to think of a better TV music show that was broadcast in the whole of 2014! It was originally filmed in Beth Nielsen Chapman’s beautiful home in her “pretty room”  back in November 2013 a few days after Country Music Awards (CMA’s). This very special House Concert brought some of the greatest songwriters and artists together which included: Suzy Bogguss, Kim Carnes, Gretchen Peters, Kim Richey, Jason Isbell, John Fullbright, Chris While & Julie Matthews, Kimmie Rhodes and the UK's very own singer-songwriter Callaghan.

In the past WBBC have made a series of 90 minute documentaries for Sky Arts with coverage of ‘Faircropfest’, the Fairport Convention summer festival, which featured performances and exclusive backstage footage and interviews over three years.
WBBC also work very closely with Cancer Research UK and have made a series of short films for BBC Introducing.

Audioboom -  Website
This is the channel to find exclusive performances from all Under The Apple Tree sessions
Here Larkin Poe perform an incredible version of Nancy Sinatra's 'Bang Bang' from the Kill Bill soundtrack, exclusively live for Whispering Bob Harris' #UnderTheAppleTree sessions.

CONNECT with Whispering Bob Broadcasting Company:
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Friday, 6 March 2015

C2C 2015 Pop Up Stages - LINE UP & Times

There will be 79 Pop Up Stage performances across the C2C2015 weekend Saturday 7th March 2015 – Sunday 8th March 2015

 Yes with some many acts it is so hard to plan the day!

The team at C2C HQ at The O2 talked about how they programme the pop-up stages and why it's so important to C2C. It was a full on and busy week for the team responsible for programming the pop up stages.
Something they came to realise this year is how much more pressure they had to do a great job on programming. There are now so many more artists applying and so much more interest in who is playing.

Alan Cackett the highly respected journalist wrote that it will be impossible to catch all the Pop Up Stage acts but he selected the one’s he urged you to try and see. 
Those artists names are highlighted. below in the tables
Mr Cackett won the Wesley Rose Media Achievement Award as editor of Maverick Magazine (2008)
He contributed regularly to Country Music People magazine from 1970 through to 1992 on a freelance basis
He contributed on a freelance basis to Country Music International from 1994 until 2001, when it closed down.
He founded Maverick Magazine in 2002 and was the editor until 2013.
Read his 2015 Pop Up Stage review Alan

Use our Google ONLINE SPREADSHEET to see all the Artists Appearing

It shows the Days and Times they play with links to their Social Network sites.

You can download the file in format on your choice by selecting File in the toolbar and use the drop down list.
You can sort the DATA by selecting either columns A, B, C or D and select DATA in the Toolbar.

Saturday 7th March 2015  LINE UP

Sunday 8th March 2015 LINE UP

C2C2015 Pop Up Stages Artists A-K

C2C2015 Pop Up Stages Artists J-Z

C2C2015 Pop Up Stages Artist Sorted
by Most Popular Facebook LIKES

Monday, 26 January 2015

Blog Updates

Due to very busy work shift commitments and extra hours from late November we have been unable to update the Blog Posts with the Country News Snippets and Billboard Chart news. 
We have a lot of data logged ready to compile new posts and some new features with perhaps a shift away from the corporate mainstream country music which continues to disappoint with a lack of quality and a continued major absence of female artists.

However as a priority we have spent several days and nights trawling the internet to compile a comprehensive 2015 Tour Dates Page with major additions to UK artist gigs & shows, London dates, Major Festival and Norfolk Festivals. We hope you find this a useful reference to help you plan your Country/Americana/Folk/Roots year – CLICK HERE

With so many albums going under the radar we have also spent time exploring and completing a comprehensive listing of Country/Alt Country/ Americana albums released in 2014.
Do you still have Christmas vouchers left to spend?
Find out our Top album picks for 2014.
Find out all the Forthcoming and Country/Alt Country/ Americana albums so far released in 2015 and ones on the horizon! Check out our Music Store

Brian Clough's American Connection Page has been given a 2015 facelift.
Do you think that country radio programmers should think outside the box more because of what the video and audio streaming services now have to offer on sites such as YouTube, Vevo, BBC Playlister and Spotify? 
Do you listen to country radio shows/ stations?
Contact us using Facebook 

Wishing you a healthy, happy and enjoyable 2015

Thank You
Country Routes News Blogspot

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Country Billboard Chart News December 17, 2014

Country Billboard Chart News December 17, 2014

In Brief:  Billboard Country Charts

Country Album Chart ** No.1 (1 week) Greatest Hits: Decade#1 Carrie Underwood
Hot Country Songs ** No.1 (3 weeks) ** “Shotgun Rider” Tim McGraw
Country Airplay ** No.1 (1 week) ** Shotgun Rider” Tim McGraw
Country Digital Songs ** No.1 ** (1 week) ** “The Old Rugged Cross” Craig Wayne Boyd

In this easy-to-use format discover where your favourite acts songs and album are charting across the four Billboard Country charts. It is prioritized by the first column showing the Hot Country Songs chart frame standings for the week of December 27, 2014.
There are also separate rows highlighting Women of Country music.

Scroll down for further details on each of the individual charts.

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News

The Billboard 200 chart now includes on-demand streaming and digital track sales data
The new chart in its second week was compiled using a new multi-metric consumption methodology, adding together pure album sales with track equivalent album sales (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

  • Year-to-date overall all genre album sales are down 12% year-to-date over 2013.
  • Physical CD sales are up 20% over last week, down 4% over the same week last year and down 16% year-to-date over 2013.
  • Digital album sales are up 7% over last week, down 17% over the same week last year and down 10% year-to-date over 2013.
  • Digital track sales are down 4% over last week, down 9% over the same week last year and down 12% year-to-date over 2013. Track-equivalent album sales are up 12.7% over last week and down 12.1% year-to-date over 2013.
 J. Cole's third album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, easily debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart (BB200), marking the rapper's third consecutive chart-topper. He previously led the list with his debut effort, 2011's Cole World: The Sideline Story, and its follow-up, 2013's Born Sinner. 2014 Forest Hills Drive moved 375,000 equivalent units in the week ending Dec. 14, according to Nielsen Music. (The Billboard 200 chart measures multi-metric consumption, including pure album sales. The ranking includes on-demand streaming and digital track sales, in addition to traditional album sales, all measured by Nielsen.)
On the latest Billboard 200, 84% of the chart's total units (adding up the weekly unit totals of Nos. 1 through 200) are pure album sales. The rest of its units are track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
2014 Forest Hills Drive sold 353,538 copies in it first week, the sum is the fifth-largest sales week for an album in 2014, and the biggest for a hip-hop set in over a year.
 The only larger weeks this year were racked up by Taylor Swift's 1989 (in its first two frames: 1.29 million and 402,000, respectively), One Direction's first week with Four (387,000) and Coldplay's arrival with Ghost Stories (383,000).

Taylor Swift’s1989” fell to No.2 despite a 21% sales increase over last week and after five non-consecutive weeks atop the Billboard 200. 
The Pop album has now surpassed the three million sales mark. “1989” shifted 324,000 units (up 18%), of which 277,607 were pure album sales (up 21%) and it has now scanned 3,003,615 at retail.
Comparing to her previous “country” releases
RED in its 7th week sold 166,999 (+22%; total 2,382,541) and SPEAK NOW in its 7th chart frame sold 201,318 (+14%; total 2,365,339)

To purely country music matters Carrie Underwood scored her fifth consecutive top five album, as her Greatest Hits: Decade #1 (19/Arista Nashville/SMN), made a bow at No.4 with 103,000 units (93,714 were pure album sales).
Underwood’s album entered the Billboard Top Country Albums at #1, displacing Garth Brooks's Man Against Machine.
  • It’s the first greatest hits album to top the country chart since Brooks & Dunn's #1s…and Then Some in September 2009; the first by a female artist to do this since Shania Twain's Greatest Hits had 11 weeks on top from November 2004 to January 2005.
  • The two-disc set markedthe biggest debut sales week for a country best-of since Toby Keith’s 35 Biggest Hits bowed with 103,000 on May 24, 2008.
  • It’s the best debut week for a country female artist’s hits package since Reba McEntire’s Reba: #1s began with 117,000 (Dec. 10, 2005).
  • Carrie’s is also the highest BB200 ranking for a newly-released greatest hits album since Kenny Chesney's Greatest Hits II debuted and peaked at #3 in May 2009.
  • This is the first best-of collection for the singer, who previously logged four albums that reached the top two on the BB200: her “Some Hearts” debut (Released Nov 15, 2005; No.2 on Billboard 200; 315,000 debut sales), followed by three No.1s: “Carnival Ride” (Released Oct 23, 2007; 527,101 first week sales), “Play On” (Released Nov 2, 2009; 317,695 first week sales) and “Blown Away” (Released May 1, 2012, debut sales 267,338 copies). Carrie was only the third woman to take three country albums to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, Linda Ronstadt and Faith Hill were the others.
Underwood's latest set is the highest-charting greatest hits album since the chart dated Aug. 25, 2012, when Frank Sinatra's Nothing But the Best re-entered at No. 3 (thanks to deep discounting by Amazon MP3). Underwood logs the biggest sales week for a best-of since Whitney Houston's Whitney: The Greatest Hits shifted 112,000 on the chart dated March 17, 2012 (in the wake of Houston's death), and the biggest sales debut for a hits set since Sinatra's Nothing arrived with 99,000 (at No. 2) on the May 31, 2008 chart.
Greatest hits albums are less vital in the iTunes era than they used to be. In a previous era, Underwood’s album would probably have vied for #1. Many previous artists have marked their first decade in the music business with compilations that had the word “decade” in the title. Underwood’s is the fourth to make the top five. Celine Dion's All the Way…A Decade of Song hit #1 in November 1999. Motley Crue's Decade of Decadence – ‘81-‘91 reached #2 in October 1991. Janet Jackson's Design of a Decade 1986/1996 hit #3 in October 1995.
On Hot Country Songs, “Something in the Water,” Underwood’s new single from the set, bulleted for a second week at No. 2 after a three-week run at No. 1 (having reached the summit on Nov. 22). A second new song, “Little Toy Guns,” enters the multimetric list at No. 40.

Carrie two-disc compilation, Greatest Hits: Decade #1, released Dec 9, 2014 featuring her latest hit, "Something in the Water," celebrates the approaching 10th anniversary of Carrie
launching her career on American Idol back in 2005. Since then, she's scored multiple #1 hits, including "Jesus, Take the Wheel," "Cowboy Casanova," "Before He Cheats" and "Blown Away." Carrie wasn't sure she was ready to put out a best-of compilation when her record label first approached her, though.
"I was the first one to be like, 'I mean, I've only been doing this 10 years,'  but it's been 10 years," Carrie said. "If we waited much longer, we'd be out of two discs, hopefully!". Looking over the track listing, Carrie added, "It's really cool to kinda see my career, and well, my life over the past 10 years kinda chronicled in that way." Carrie's Greatest Hits also includes the rough demo versions of some of her biggest hits, and she was excited to let fans hear how these hits, like "Last Name," sounded before they got polished in the studio.

Promoting the album the pregnant star appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC) on Dec 8th.

Critical reception for Carrie Underwood’s Greatest Hits: Decade #1:
(2-CD) 25 tracks/ Time: 1:40:10 CD - MP3 - Smart Choice Music - 
Allmusic (Rating: 4 STARS).....If the subtitle "Decade #1" seems too optimistic, consider this: back in 2004, few ever would've bet that the winner of the third season of American Idol would still be on the charts. A decade later, Carrie Underwood was a genuine superstar who left her television roots far behind. Greatest Hits: Decade #1 helps bury those early American Idol memories by sandwiching her coronation song "Inside Your Heaven" between two bombastic new songs ("Something in the Water," the better of the two, opens up the proceedings, followed by "Little Toy Guns") and "Jesus, Take the Wheel," the song that truly kicked off her streak at the top of the country charts...... the 21 singles -- which are supplemented by three demos that reveal Carrie works well in a stark setting, too -- are of a piece, expertly constructed post-Shania and Faith Hill country-pop proving that Underwood is the new-millennial heir to their throne.

Rounding out the new Billboard 200's top 10 is Garth Brooks' MAN AGAINST MACHINE, descended 8-10 (2-1 Country) with 62,000 units (up 8% on previous weeks 57K). On the Top Album Sales chart, it fell 7-8 with the same sum, as the album is unavailable on streaming services, and its individual tracks are unavailable to purchase.

The other new entry on the Top 25 Country albums came via The Nashville Season 3, Volume 1 Official Soundtrack which made a debut at No.75 on the BB200 (#10 Country) selling 11,000 copies with the ABC Network program’s Christmas With Nashville holiday album sitting right behind it on both the Billboard 200 and Country Album charts.
As the winter finale of ABC’s “Nashville” drew closer, the plot lines grow thinner and the scant 10-song soundtrack followed suit. Domestic turmoil was the major theme this season as diva Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) became unexpectedly pregnant before the filming of a Patsy Cline biopic. Unfortunately, Panettiere’s excellent rendition of “Crazy” is omitted on the album. In a tumultuous love triangle, Charles “Chip” Esten (Deacon Claybourne) turns in a clichéd, yet pleasing acoustic ode, “I Know How To Love You Now “to the soon to be married Reyna James (Connie Britton) the woman he will always love...Read More

Critical reception:
Various Artists - Music Of Nashville: Original Soundtrack - Season 3, Volume 1 [US Exclusive Deluxe]
Allmusic (Rating: 4 Stars) ....One can argue that the only thing that keeps Nashville from being a
complete prime-time soap opera is the relatively consistent quality of its music. It is so strategically placed, episode by episode, that it offers both enhancements to and distractions from its various plot lines. Not only is this first soundtrack -- representing the first half of season three -- not an exception, it's among the better titles issued by the franchise and represents its characters well. While it's true that the principals -- actresses Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere -- only have one solo cut apiece, they are both excellent..... About the only thing missing here is a selection from Lennon & Maisy Stella -- which would make it perfect -- but song for song, the music here not only trumps everything the series has previously released, it can stand on its own.

Outside the top 25 Country Albums
On their second week at retail Willie Nelson And Sister Bobbie fell 26-34 with December Day: Willie's Stash. Vol. 1 (Legacy) and at No.44 there was a debut at #44 for Various Artists set Country Christmas (Ume)

2014 Country Album sales Year-To Date:
30,616,000 (Physical sales 20,964,000 (down 9%) + Digital sales 9,652,000 (down -8.2%)) which is 17.0% down at the same point in 2013 (36,901,000 sales)

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Placings
(Issue dated Chart week of December 27, 2014)
(Country Album positions #1 - #25)
(TW) This Week, (LW) Last Week, Co (Country Album Chart placing / Movement)
Actual Album Sales (NOT including Track Sales + Streams which the Billboard 200 compile)

Top 25 Hot Country Songs (week of December 27, 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:

  • Tim McGraw held at No.1 for a third successive week with “Shotgun Rider” (McGraw/Big Machine).
  • Craig Wayne Boyd, the newly crowned seventh-season winner of NBC’s The Voice, placed new versions of classic compositions on Hot Country Songs for a fourth straight week. Gospel standard “The Old Rugged Cross” (Republic) is the Hot Shot Debut at No. 7 while his cover of Merle Haggard’s 1969 blue-collar anthem “Workin’ Man Blues” entered at No. 37. Boyd performed both songs on the Dec. 8 episode.
  • On the same evening, coach Blake Shelton and duet partner Ashley Monroe performed current single “Lonely Tonight” (Warner Bros./WMN) which helped it lift 21-5 with top Digital Gainer honours. The pair also performed the track on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Dec. 11. “Lonely Tonight” also reached a new peak (9-2) on Country Digital Songs (41,000 sold, up 147%).
Hot County Songs
** No.1 (3 weeks) ** “Shotgun Rider” Tim McGraw
** Airplay Gainer ** No.3 “Talladega”  Eric Church
** Digital Gainer ** No.5 “Lonely Tonight” “Blake Shelton feat. Ashley Monroe
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.7 “The Old Rugged Cross” Craig Wayne Boyd
** Streaming Gainer ** No.8 “I See You” Luke Bryan
Debut No.37 “Workin’ Man Blues” Craig Wayne Boyd
Debut No.40 “Little Toy Guns” Carrie Underwood
Debut No.49 “When I’ve Been Drinkin’ Jon Pardi

Billboard Country Airplay Chart Week of December 27, 2014

Tim McGraw collected his 27th No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay tally with “Shotgun Rider” (McGraw/Big Machine), which drew 47.603 million audience impressions (up 8%, a gain of +3.575 million) and received 7,813 radio plays (+732) and stepped 2-1, thus becoming the artist with the most No.1s dating to the chart’s launch 25 years ago (January 1990). 
During that time frame, McGraw breaks out of a three-way tie with Alan Jackson and George Strait (26 apiece) on a list that also includes Kenny Chesney (23), Brooks & Dunn (20), Toby Keith (20), Blake Shelton (18), Brad Paisley (18), Garth Brooks (18) and Keith Urban (17).
“Rider” written by Marv Green, Hillary Lindsey and Troy Verges was first released on Sept 8, 2014 as the third single from his second studio album for Big Machine Records, SUNDOWN HEAVEN TOWN. It peaked in its 15th chart week, marking the artist’s quickest chart-topping ascent in nearly four years. He hasn’t reached the summit faster since “Felt Good on My Lips” reigned in its 14th week on the Jan. 8, 2011 list. He clocked his fastest No. 1 when “It’s Your Love” (with Faith Hill) needed just five weeks to peak (June 7, 1997).
Top local audience exposure for “Rider” during the Dec. 8-14 Nielsen Music tracking week: KKBQ Houston (1.4 million impressions), WNSH New York (1.3 million), KKGO Los Angeles (1.1 million), WKLB Boston (1.1 million) and KMNB Minneapolis (902,000).

  • The heat quickly cooled on last week’s No.1 as Maddie & Tae’sGirl In A Country Song” which slumped 1-7 a 11.683 million audience loss and 5,610 radio plays (down 2,038).
  • Florida Georgia Line scored its seventh straight top 10 single with “Sun Daze” (Republic Nashville), which hopped 11-9 in its 10th chart week. The track is the second single from the duo’s sophomore album, ANYTHING GOES, which has sold 407,000 copies through the week ending Dec. 7, according to Nielsen Music. During that time frame, “Sun Daze” has sold 200,000 downloads — it debuted and peaked at No. 4 on the Oct. 4 Country Digital Songs chart.
  • Luke Bryan’sI See You” (Capitol Nashville) became the artist’s 17th top 10 on the Country Airplay chart, where it advanced 13-10 in its sixth chart week.
  • Blake Shelton’sLonely Tonight” (Warner Bros./WMN), featuring Ashley Monroe, earned Most Increased Audience honours logging 19.689 million impressions, up 30%, a gain of +4.514 million and received 3,335 radio plays.
  • Dierks Bentley stacked up the Most Added honours with “Say You Do” (Capitol Nashville) receiving 1,440 radio plays (+312) thanks to 17 fresh radio commitments (ADDS)
Women of Country 2014 Watch:

There were two solo female artists on the Top 30 Country Airplay songs with Carrie Underwood’s “Something In The Water” (7-5) and RaeLynn’s “God Made Girls” moving 21-20.
Kelsea Ballerini #35, Lucy Hale #58 and Katie Armiger #60 were the additional three solo females in the remaining 31-60 slots, to make it just 8.33% of the entire Top 60 chart.

Country Airplay
*** No.1 (1 week) *** "Shotgun Rider” Tim McGraw
** Most Increased Audience ** “Lonely Tonight” No.17 Blake Shelton feat. Ashley Monroe
** Most Added ** “Say You Do” No.27 Dierks Bentley
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.55 "Girl Crush" Little Big Town
Debut No.57 “House Party” Sam Hunt
Debut No.59 “Raised By A Good Time” Steven Lee Olsen

Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart Week of December 27, 2014
With a similar pattern to the previous week saw NBC’s The Voice effect the Top 5 Downloads show contestant Craig Wayne Boyd along with his coach Blake Shelton, dominate the chart. Boyd returned to #1 with a southern gospel classic “The Old Rugged Cross” .
Watch his performance on the Live Semi Final.
Blake Shelton and Ashley Monroe’s “Lonely Tonight” jumped 9-2 thanks to their performance of the song on the TV show. Last weeks No.1 RaeLynn with “God Made Girls” fell 1-5 to round out the top 5 shifting a further 22,000 downloads.
Just edged out of the Top 30 Carrie Underwood’sLittle Toy Guns” the second new song from her Decade #1 hits set made a bow at #31 selling 8,000 copies.

Women Of Country Watch
RaeLynn (1-5) with “God Made Girls”, Carrie Underwood with “Something In The Water” (No.3), Brenda Lee with the Christmas classic Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree (18-17) and Faith Hill’s ” Where Are You Christmas? (27-30) were the 4 solo female acts on the Top 30.

Dropping off the Top 30:
5 - Off The Chart Craig Wayne Boyd “Take It Easy” 
21 - Off The Chart  Blake Shelton “God Gave Me You”   
22 - Off The Chart Kid Rock feat Sheryl Crow “Picture”
23-32 Frankie Ballard “Sunshine & Whiskey”   
27-36 Big & Rich “Look At You”
17-46 Craig Wayne Boyd “I Walk The Line”

Year-Over-Year Country Digital Track Sales:
2014: 126,861,000 ; down 16.8% compared to 152.464,00 million in 2013

Top 30 Digital Singles in Country Music (published December 18, 2014)
 (LW) Last Week (TW) This Week
*Numbers are rounded to nearest 1000th

Country Aircheck MEDIABASE Chart

Tim McGraw moved 2-1 to land No1 on Mediabase with “Shotgun Rider” (Big Machine). The song logged 7,914 radio spins (+616) and 56.273 million audience impressions from 149 tracking stations for the tracking week December 7 to December 13, 2014 and published chart December 15th.    
Congratulations to BIG MACHINE SVP/Promotion Jack Purcell, Nat. Dir./Radio Marketing Mandy McCormick, and the entire Big Machine Promotion team for scoring the week's #1 single on the MEDIABASE Country singles chart with Tim McGraw's "Shotgun Rider." The single is McGraw's third from his current album "Sundown Heaven Town." 

Congratulations to UMG NASHVILLE SVP/Promotion Royce Risser, Capitol Nashville VP/Promotion Shane Allen and the entire Capitol Promotion team for earning 49 MEDIABASE adds on Little Big Town's new single, "Girl Crush." Those adds give LBT the "Most Added" title for the tracking week. Treats were due to be delivered to the staff (Dec 15) to celebrate their success.

For a detailed report check out Country Aircheck Weekly Issue 427 - December 15, 2014 [PDF File]
For the very latest up to the minute Mediabase Chart (Past 7 Days) go here -